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Big Business Shuns Russia Over Ukraine Invasion

The US and European marketplace protests Russia by refusing to do business there.

By:  |  March 11, 2022  |    681 Words
GettyImages-1383241916 McDonald's

(Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress)

In February, Russia invaded its neighbor, Ukraine. Fighting is still going on over control of the area – but wars are fought with more than just weapons. Other things can have a big impact, such as public opinion or the economy. Even businesses can influence a conflict – and that’s what lots of US and European companies are trying to do.

To protest Russia’s actions, many companies are now refusing to do business there. In some cases, the companies protested the war after pressure on social media. Will this compel Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the attack on Ukraine?

No More Fast Food or Movies?

news and current events bannerFast food and Hollywood movies are two big American exports. Now, Russians will be running short on both. Disney is one of the most well-known corporations to take action against the Russian government. The company has decided not to release its movies in Russian cinemas until the war is resolved. Entertainment streaming site Netflix has also announced it will not take new subscribers in Russia.

Russians craving Big Macs will have even more reason to be upset with President Putin. The McDonald’s fast-food chain announced it would shut down 850 locations in the country. CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote a letter to the chain’s restaurant owners and employees, telling them the company will halt all business in Russia. It will continue paying its Russian employees, though.

Other food and drink retailers also decided to part ways with Russia – at least temporarily. Starbucks, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola all quit operating in the country.

Big Oil and Big Money

Several energy companies volunteered to cut off projects in Russia – or they say they will, anyway. ExxonMobil is one gas company taking action against Moscow; it will try to discontinue a project it has drilling for oil and gas in Russian waters.

Online finance company PayPal also declared it would suspend service in Russia. CEO Dan Schulman wrote a letter to Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, saying:

“Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia. We are also doing all that we can to support our staff in the region during this deeply difficult time.”

Credit card companies Visa, Mastercard, and American Express have also withdrawn from the Russian market until the conflict is resolved.

Stores and Other Businesses

A whole range of American and European businesses are getting behind the effort to isolate Russia from the global marketplace. Here are just a few of the other entities getting involved:

Expedia: Online travel-booking company Expedia stopped providing travel services in and out of Russia.

H&M: One of the largest clothing retailers in the world, H&M will shut 150 stores in Russia. However, it is also closing stores in Ukraine, apparently for the safety of its employees.

Levi’s: Blue jeans have long been a symbol of America. People living under the Soviet Union were discouraged from wearing them, and getting them was difficult because selling American goods was illegal. Now, Russians are once again being denied the denim as Levi Strauss & Co is suspending its sales in the country. It has also pledged $300,000 to charities helping Ukrainian refugees.

GettyImages-1237654778 Apple

(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ikea: The Swedish furniture superstore has closed its 17 locations in Russia. It also says it will no longer buy materials from the country, either.

Apple: The technology company stopped all sales in Russia, and its Apple Pay service will be limited there. It also blocked Russian media outlets from the app store worldwide.

Sports groups: European football (soccer) leagues FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from competing. Meanwhile, England’s Manchester United soccer team has ditched Russian airline Aeroflot as a sponsor.

Do the Russian people support their president’s invasion of Ukraine? It’s hard to say – but it seems businesses are aiming to turn them against the conflict. How will they feel after missing out on so many products and services?

Test your knowledge – try a quiz based on this article!

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